Americans more likely to choose an entirely remote work schedule

About two in five Americans say they’re living the dream with remote work while less than one in 10 wish to work on-location full time.

That’s according to a new poll of 2,000 employed Americans which revealed that if given the opportunity to build their dream schedule, 42% would opt for mostly remote work with occasional days in-office.

Respondents would also be much more likely to choose an entirely remote schedule (26%) than entirely on location (9%).

In reality, the majority (39%) work remote most of the time with occasional days in-office and almost one quarter (24%) work entirely remotely.

Only one in five people surveyed have more in-person workdays than remote.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of DoorDash, the survey also explored how certain activities and perks bring employees together — in-person or Zoom style.

Respondents do believe there are several activities that are better suited for in-person work styles.

Compared to remote, things like one-on-one meetings (57% vs 30%) and sharing meals (51% vs 28%) ranked at the top for best in-office activities.

To that same tune, more respondents prefer meeting in person for social activities such as “lunch and learn” presentations (51% vs 31%) and happy hours (46% vs 32%).

Respondents also feel they pay attention in meetings (59% vs 29%), connect more with their co-workers (53% vs 30%), and engage in company culture (51% vs 30%) more effectively on-location.

While most generations were closely split on whether they’re better at multitasking in-person or virtually, millennials were most likely to accomplish it remotely (43% vs 34%).

Fully remote work appeals to respondents because of the ability to have a flexible work schedule (49%), spend less time commuting (47%) and having more time to spend with family and friends (47%).

Half of respondents believe they will leave their current job within the next year.

Currently, “soft perks” such as training opportunities (30%), free coffee or snacks at the office (28%) and mental health resources (27%) are being offered to respondents.

But when asked which they’d give up for their dream job, they’d prefer to lose minor things like summer Fridays (27%), annual holiday parties (27%) and birthday gifts or messages (27%).

“As companies are looking for solutions to support flexible work, food plays a leading role in maintaining a positive culture. It acts as a catalyst for employees to better connect with their teams, supports employee satisfaction and productivity, and inspires lasting memories through social gatherings over meals,” said Manushika Gabriel, Director & General Manager, DoorDash for Work.

Despite the perks of working from home, top motivators to return to in-person work full-time include spending more time with their coworkers (45%), having their company pay for their commute (42%) and being offered company-supplied meals (38%).

A little more than one-third (36%) believe their company culture has improved overall since the start of the pandemic.

When asked what their employer can do in support of building culture, allowing employees to raise concerns in a safe space (54%) and creating a place to connect with coworkers outside of work (50%) ranked at the top of the list.

The survey showed that food plays a big part in happily working together. About three-fourths (74%) agree that sharing meals together positively contributes to company culture.

It’s so important, in fact, things like “free lunch” and “shar[ing] meals with my coworkers in our free time. Maybe a coffee, lunch or a cupcake, something simple”, are some of the ways respondents would feel more connected to their company culture.

More than three in five (61%) believe that eating together encourages people to talk about things other than work, while 60% say they get to know their coworkers in a more casual setting.

Thirty-nine percent of all respondents have changed jobs during the pandemic and for those respondents, 84% found it more difficult to engage with their coworkers.

“Companies are interested in providing perks and benefits to employees, with meals being at the forefront for many. We share meals with our families and friends as a way of bonding, and it’s no different in an office setting, said Gabriel. “Eating together and sharing meals doesn’t just give employees a chance to connect with one another, it builds positive company culture and team camaraderie.”